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A Creative Upside to ADHD?

A diagnosis of attention deficit disorder (ADHD) usually indicates a number of challenges, but a new study suggests there may be benefits as well.

As reported in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences, psychologists discovered adults with ADHD enjoyed more creative achievement than those who didn’t have the disorder.

“For the same reason that ADHD might create problems, like distraction, it can also allow an openness to new ideas,” said Dr. Holly White, assistant professor of cognitive psychology at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida and co-author of the paper.

“Not being completely focused on a task lets the mind make associations that might not have happened otherwise.”

White and Dr. Priti Shah at the University of Michigan gave 60 college students – half of them with ADHD – a series of tests measuring creativity across 10 domains.

The ADHD group scored higher across the board.

The ADHD group also showed more of a preference for brainstorming and generating ideas than the non-ADHD group, which preferred refining and clarifying ideas.

Researchers say the study is a follow-up to one done in 2006, which focused on laboratory measures of creativity and found that ADHD individuals show better performance on tests of creative divergent thinking.

“We didn’t know if that would translate into real-life achievement,” said Shah. “The current study suggests that it does.”

Source: Dick Jones Communications

A Creative Upside to ADHD?

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). A Creative Upside to ADHD?. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 24, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2011/03/14/a-creative-upside-to-adhd/24374.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.